A campaign for $500,000 for the People’s Ort Federation was launched on Sunday evening at a dinner at the Hotel Commodore. New York City will be asked to subscribe the sum of $100,000. The funds are to be used to continue the Ort’s reconstruction work in Eastern Europe along agricultural and industrial lines.
Three hundred persons attended the dinner which was in the nature of a reception to Lord Marley, deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council of the Ort in Great Britain. In addition to the guest of honor addresses were delivered by B. Charney Vladeck, national chairman of the People’s Ort Federation; Murray Levine, vice president; and Mrs. Florence Dolowitz, president of the Women’s Association of the Ort. Dr. Henry Moskowitz, chairman of the board of directors presided.
Lord Marley described the conditions of the Jews in Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland and in Soviet Russia, stressing the importance of the work of the Ort in readjusting them to new economic and social conditions.
Of the situation of the Jews in Poland, he said that conditions are growing progressively worse for them as a result of economic anti-Semitism, and that the situation there is much worse than in Russia.
Discussing the Jewish situation in Russia with reference to the declassed, Lord Marley said that Jews are accepted on the same footing as other nationalities. Much of the suffering of the Jews in Russia is due to the Soviet law which admits to full citizenship only peasants and industrial workers, he said.
“The Jews feel the effects of this law,” he declared, “for to a large extent they have been traders and because a larger number of them were traders, they suffer proportionately. The work of the Ort therefore was to relieve this condition; to provide training in industry and agriculture for these Jews.
“The position of the present time is such that owing to the speeding up in the liquidation of private trade, the Ort will have an especially difficult task within the next few years,” said Lord Marley. “It is of vital importance that this training work should not be crippled at the present moment through lack of funds, and despite the world depression, I feel confident that the value of the reconstruction work of the Ort has only to be realized for it to receive continued public support.
“This is the very worst moment when the assistance so generously given in the past could be stopped. I believe the situation in Russia can be cleared up in ten or fifteen years and therefore it is immensely worth while to assure the completion of the task to which we have put our hands.
“The work of the Ort now includes the establishment of trades inside the colonization settlements, the building up of cooperative workshops and factories, the provision of machines for maintaining of Jewish families and the supplying of machines direct to relatives and subscribers. The services rendered also include traveling engineers to repair and keep in order those machines, the supplying of raw materials and educational work such as technical lectures.”
Anti-Semitism is now considered counter-revolutionary in Soviet Russia and therefore a punishable offense. As evidence of the pro-Jewish sentiment in Russia he cited the fact that 60 per cent of the members of the Ozet, Jewish Land Settlement Society, are non Jews.